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Sanders of the River (1935)

 -  Adventure | Drama  -  26 June 1935 (USA)
5.6
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 328 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 9 critic

British District Officer in Nigeria in the 1930's rules his area strictly but justly, and struggles with gun-runners and slavers with the aid of a loyal native chief.

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(adaptation), (adaptation), 2 more credits »
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Title: Sanders of the River (1935)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Leslie Banks ...
...
Lilongo
Robert Cochran ...
Lieutenant Tibbets (as Robert Cochrane)
Martin Walker ...
J. Ferguson
Richard Grey ...
Tony Wane ...
King Mofolaba
Marqués De Portago ...
Farini (as Marquis De Portago)
Eric Maturin ...
Smith
Allan Jeayes ...
Father O'Leary
Charles Carson ...
Governor of the Territory
Luao ...
Chief of the Wagenia [Congo] Tribe
Kilongalonga ...
Chief of the Wagenia [Congo] Tribe
Oboja ...
Chief of the Acholi Tribe
Members of Acholi Tribe ...
Themselves (as Members of the Acholi Tribe)
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Storyline

British District Officer in Nigeria in the 1930's rules his area strictly but justly, and struggles with gun-runners and slavers with the aid of a loyal native chief. Written by Michael Crew <m.crew@bbcnc.org.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 June 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bosambo  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paul Robeson disowned this picture, telling journalists that it was the only one of his films to have been screened in Italy and Germany. However, his claim to have walked out of the premiere in disgust was a re-invention of history. See more »

Goofs

Although the film is nominally set in Nigeria (as shown on the map in Sanders' office), the aerial wildlife shots seem to have been taken in East Africa (e.g. Kenya, Uganda, Tanganyika). Given the presence of Jomo Kenyatta as an extra in the cast, it is likely that the African scenes were shot on the eastern coast of Africa rather than in Nigeria. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Old Bones of the River (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

Lion Song
Music by Mischa Spoliansky
Lyrics by Arthur Wimperis
Sung by Paul Robeson
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Technically well made but its message about colonialism is no doubt disconcerting when seen today.
19 August 2011 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

I am rather surprised that a man of Paul Robeson's convictions would agree to star in this film. That's because this British production STRONGLY reinforces that colonialism is good as well as the paternalistic view of black Africans. In other words, the people of Africa, according to the film, are too violent and dumb to rule themselves. And, when the British aren't there, the folks quickly regenerate to tribal warfare. While there is some truth to the stabilizing influence of the British, this film seems to say that the ends DOES justify the means. So, taking over the nations and running them is okay according to the movie. And, considering how strongly Robeson fought for racial equality, it is odd indeed that he'd been in a film like this--and play a part of a character that completely buys into this system.

Apart from the message reinforcing the status quo, is the film worth seeing? Well, yes. Technically it looks really good--far better than most African films of the era (which often showed irrelevant stock footage at every turn) and it was nice to hear Robeson's melodious voice. And, it is entertaining.

By the way, Robeson's name in the film was Bosambo! With this and the plot, you can see why he disowned the film when it debuted!


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